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DNLA cadres kill five, set ablaze seven trucks;  Dalmia Cement to extend support to bereaved families

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GUWAHATI: Five people died after suspected Dimasa National Liberation Army (DNLA) extremists set ablaze seven trucks near ranger’s field under Diyungbra police station in Dima Hasao district on Thursday night.

The trucks were carrying coal and other materials for a nearby cement manufacturing plant.

A six to seven member group of the extremists stopped the trucks, which were on its way from Umrangso to Lanka, carrying clinker and coal, around 8 pm on Thursday, and fired indiscriminately on them. A few trucks reportedly managed to escape.

One of the truck drivers Pranab Das had a miraculous escape from the firing. Another driver Farooq Ahmend received bullet injuries on his left leg.

Both of them informed their truck owners about the incident.

The fire fighters rushed to the spot and doused the fire to prevent further spread.

One person was identified as Gour Mazumder and four persons are yet to be identified  as their bodies were burned  badly making it difficult to identify them.

Those who were believed to be killed are: Biplab Singh, Ajgar Ali, Sikandar Ali, Gaur Mazumdar, and Dilwar Hussain.

It is suspected that the extremists group might have been shot at before setting ablaze. Till now nobody has claimed the attack

Farooq Ahmed, who was shifted to Nagaon BP Civil Hospital, told reporters that his truck was stopped by the extremists. “When I stopped the truck, they started firing at us, I got a bullet injury in my leg,” he said.

“Immediately I jumped onto the roadside ditch to save my life. I told my handyman to flee. But he couldn’t. He was burnt along with the truck,” Farooq said.

Dima Hasao district superintendent of police Jayant Singh confirmed that a group of six to seven miscreants was involved in the incident.

“However, the group of militants is yet to be ascertained,” Jayanta Singh said.’

“We have recovered five charred bodies — they are mostly truck drivers and handymen. Identification is still going on,” Singh said.

Mention be made here that a few days back a firing incident took place in Maibang.

Formed in 2016, the DNLA seeks to form a separate state for the Dimasa tribe, one of the earliest inhabitants — and rulers — of the Brahmaputra Valley of Assam. The Dimasas currently reside in Dima Hasao, Karbi Anglong, Cachar and Nagaon districts in Assam, as well as parts of Nagaland.

On May 23, seven cadres of the outfit were killed in a police encounter at Misibailam which forced them to leave Karbi Anglong.

Now the group is concentrated in Maibong in Dima Hasao district.

The outfit has called for a 36-hour bandh in six districts.

Meanwhile, Dalmiya Cement, which is running a plant in Umrangso, described the incident as unfortunate.

“We are saddened to inform that five drivers who were attacked lost their lives and two were injured. We express our condolences to the families of the deceased and we will extend due support to the bereaved families. We are committed to ensure the safety of our employees and extend necessary support to our partners and associates,” the company said in a statement here.

“We are in touch with the Assam government and they have assured us that necessary steps will be taken, so as to avoid any such untowardly incident in the future.” It added.

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